When I was growing up here at the Manse, my younger brother John took up hockey, and ended up the goalie for his minor-league team. My family – my dad and mum, my sister, Melanie, and my brother Ken, the youngest, turned into quite the fans, and many were the times that we all piled into the car to accompany John to a home or away game. That in turn meant many afternoons and evenings spent in freezing-cold arenas – insulation? who needs insulation? – watching the games and cheering on the team. I can still vividly remember that heart-in-mouth feeling when a player from the other side would tear out on a breakaway and little John was the only thing between him and a goal. But John wasn’t bad, and as often as not he saved the day. Thrilling times!
(I’ve always felt rather badly that by the time Ken took up hockey, I at least was bored with it, and his games never got anything like the attention John’s did.)
Anyway, the other day I was given a wonderful reminder of those long-ago hockey days and nights. I was visiting with Dave and Wanda of the Hart’s-Riggs area, whose son, Michael, had played on the same team as John, and Wanda had a team photo – and she’d made me a copy! Which you can see at the top of this post. There the boys are, together again – and with my late father, The Rev. Wendell Sedgwick, in his trademark hat, in the centre of the back row. I’m not quite sure why that is, because as far as I can recall Dad was never a coach of the team, but so what? It’s just wonderful to have this photo of him. And perhaps someone can fill me in as to why he would have been in that place of honour in the photo.
The list of players, as far as Wanda and Dave were able to figure out, is in the caption below the photo – and if you are able to fill in one or more of the blanks, please let me know. It would be terrific to have names for the full roster.
Meanwhile, there are two other things I have to ask about the picture:
One: Does anyone remember what the team’s name was? The players are wearing Minnesota North Stars-type jerseys; were they called the something-or-other North Stars?
And two: Am I right that the team photo was taken at the old (but still standing – though not in use, I believe) arena in the hamlet of Cooper? Man, I remember that place as the site of some great community hockey games and skating parties. But mainly I remember it for being the coldest place on Earth. It could be 20 below outside, and inside the Cooper Arena it would be 30 below! I’m not sure how that could be, but it was. Aside from the dressing rooms, where there would be a roaring – and I mean roaring – wood fire in the cast-iron stoves, the rest of the old barn was insanely, unutterably, brutally cold.
Which of course just added to the excitement and the charm of a minor-league hockey game back in those glorious, happy old days.